In 2008, our own Nathan Rabin coined the phrase “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” to describe an increasingly common stock character who flits into the lives of sensitive, often-jilted men, then teaches them to love again by distracting them with their zany, childlike quirks. And like the kooky, slightly dorky woman that most guys don’t realize they’ve been waiting for their whole lives until they finally meet them, the phrase filled some sort of void for a lot of people, eventually taking on a life of its own. So widespread is its usage now that, inevitably, it’s circled back to the source: An interviewer for Moviefone decided it might be a good idea to ask original MPDG Kirsten Dunst—whose character in Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown served as Nathan’s own lovable muse—how she felt about being the embodiment of the term. Yeah, it didn’t go so well:
What's your opinion of the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl?
What is that?
Oh... it was coined for your character in Elizabethtown.
It kind of means...
That's so weird. What's it called? The Manic Pixie...
Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I guess it means that there's a dream girl who is also manic. And pixie-ish... and I think...
I don't find I'm manic at all. I'm very chill.
Well, yeah, in person. I think they mean your character.
Oh, in Elizabethtown?
But I feel that all of Cameron's girls are quirky with a sparkle. You know what I mean? Like, they are always kind of, you know... talk too much. You know what I mean?
Holly Golightly is a good example.
Yeah, You're right. Yeah.
What do you think of that term?
I don't like it, to be honest.
No, I don't. I think it's weird sounding. [The publicist walks in to signify that our time is up] So, on that note...
On that note, indeed. So congratulations are due to Moviefone’s Mike Ryan—and by proxy, Nathan Rabin—for giving Kirsten Dunst her second-most awkward interview experience of the year.
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